Even the cheapest modern car is far safer than one built even just a decade ago. Incredible advancements in car safety systems have made the roads safer for all drivers. The push toward self-driving and fully autonomous vehicles has facilitated advancements in sensor and computer-controlled driving technology that was little more than a science fiction dream a few decades ago.
Lane Departure Assist
Many new cars are coming equipped with lane departure assist warnings. This technology uses sensors to detect when a driver is crossing the center line or white lines. They usually give an audible beep and possibly a visual warning. This technology helps prevent head-on collisions and may be especially useful for older drivers or those with impairments.
Electronic Stability Controls
Many modern cars have the ability to control the speed of individual wheels. This allows the car to remain stable during tight turns or on rough or uneven road conditions. Loss of vehicle control often occurs when one or more tires lose traction. Automatically adjusting the wheels helps prevent this traction loss. The driver also doesn’t have to think about this. They can drive normally, and the car’s computer automatically makes tiny adjustments.
Automatic Braking and Collision Prevention
Sensor technology has come a long way in the last few years. Forward-facing sensors allow cars to detect hazards that a driver may miss, and the car’s computer may be able to respond faster than the driver to sudden hazards. Some vehicles use this sensor technology to provide collision alerts in case a driver is distracted. More advanced versions of the system allow the car’s computer to apply the brakes automatically to prevent a collision.
Hands-free driving leads to safe driving. Most modern cars are equipped with Bluetooth connectivity for phone use, allowing you to talk on the phone and listen to calls or messages using the car’s audio system. More advanced cars and luxury cars take this a step further. Most or all of the car’s internal controls, like stereo volume, temperature and navigation, can be controlled with voice commands. This allows the driver to stay focused on the road. They don’t have to fiddle with dials or buttons on the dash anymore.
The one caveat experts warn in relation to voice controls is that drivers must be very comfortable using the technology. A driver not experienced with voice commands may actually be more distracted trying to use them. The experts recommend drivers practice with the voice commands while they are not driving, so they know what commands work and which ones don’t while it is safe.
Blind-spot and cross-traffic monitoring
Advanced sensors are now being used on many cars to help drivers stay safe. Two important advanced sensor features cover a car’s blind spot, giving drivers a warning about dangers they may not be able to see. This greatly reduces the chance of an accident on busy freeways. Cross-traffic monitoring makes pulling out of parking spaces safer by detecting oncoming cars a driver may not be able to see while backing up.
As vehicle technology steadily advances toward fully self-driving cars, drivers today are reaping the benefits of advanced sensor and computer controls included in modern vehicles.
Bart Costello is the founder of Injury Law. Bart is passionate about helping people. He has built a strong reputation over the last thirty years as one of the premier Boulder personal injury attorneys.